Review Date: May 24, 2016
Category: Advanced Amateur to Pro
Photoxels Editor’s Choice 2016 – Mirrorless
IMAGE QUALITYThe Fujifilm X-Pro2 is targeted to serious and advanced amateur photographers as well as to pros. It features 24.3-MP resolution on an APS-C (23.6mm x 15.6mm) X-Trans CMOS III image sensor, Fujifilm X mount, interchangeable lenses and a unique retro rangefinder-style design.
We find the overall image quality of the Fujifilm X-Pro2 to be excellent at ISO 200 with low noise and excellent image detail. Image quality is very good up to ISO 1600. Noise starts to be visible at ISO 3200 with slight loss of detail but is still very usable for small prints and display up to ISO 6400. At the higher ISOs, images suffer visibly from noise and loss of detail.
The Fujifilm X-Pro2 has a Fujifilm X mount that accepts interchangeable lenses. The Focal length multiplier is approx. 1.5x. In the above picture, we show the coverage using the FUJINON XF35mmF1.4 R [53mm equiv.] and then the FUJINON XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR [152-609mm equiv.].
The XF35mmF1.4 R has a maximum aperture of F1.4 and a minimum aperture of F16. It has 7 blades with rounded diaphragm opening, 22 1/3EV stops and accepts 52mm diameter filters. The lens is sharp to the edges and produces a pleasing bokeh at max. aperture. There is no built-in optical image stabilization.
The XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is an all weather super telephoto zoom lens with 5.0-stop image stabilization that allows handheld shots even at super-telephoto range. It has a maximum aperture of F4.5 (Wide) / F5.6 (Telephoto) and a minimum aperture of F22. It has 9 blades with rounded diaphragm opening, 19 1/3EV stops and accepts 77mm diameter filters. It is a high performance lens with 21 elements in 14 groups, including 5 extra low dispersion elements and 1 super extra low dispersion element for the highest quality in its class. The front element is applied with a water and dirt repellent fluorine coating. The quiet, high-speed autofocus is driven by a linear motor. At less than 1.4kg, it is relatively compact and lightweight. In addition to being weather- and dust-resistant, it will also keep working at sub-zero (-10°C) temperatures.
The X-Pro2 has no built-in image stabilization and therefore depends on the optical image stabilization that may be built into a particular lens.
The X Mount Lens Roadmap lists 18 XF lenses and 2 XC lenses currently available for the X mount, including 11 prime lenses and 9 zoom lenses, altogether covering focal lengths from ultra-wide-angle 14mm [21mm equiv.] to super telephoto 400mm [609mm equiv.], meaning that you should be able to find the right lens for the type of photography that you prefer. The XF lenses are very high quality and some are even weather resistant (look for the “WR” label on the lens), making each of these an ideal pairing with the weather resistant X-Pro2. The X Mount Lens roadmap is updated regularly to reflect available lenses as well as planned lenses.
The closest focusing distance for the XF100-400mm is 1.75m (5.7 ft). All pictures in this review are hand-held. The background is beautifully blurred. Of course, if macro photography is your thing, you may want to seriously consider the XF60mmF2.4 R Macro (which is currently available) or the XF80mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro (slated to be introduced in 2017).
Autofocus performance has improved over the X-Pro1. While the X-Pro1 had 49 points Contrast-detect AF, the X-Pro2 boasts a hybrid AF that uses a total of 273 points, including 169 phase detection AF. That’s a significant improvement and it shows in the speed and precision of the autofocus. Single AF is fast and impressively accurate in good lighting using either lens, even at the maximum focal length of 400mm using the XF100-400mm lens. I had a blast taking the XF100-400mm lens out to the zoo, with the camera focusing fast and accurately at all focal lengths.
However, in low light, though the X-Pro2 AF is now sensitive down to -3 EV, depending on your subject, it may still take from 1 sec. to 3 sec. to acquire focus using the XF35mmF1.4, even with the help of the AF-assist illuminator. Instead of jumping to focus, it still moves the lens back and forth through it’s focus range to acquire the focus. It seems then that the X-Pro2 may not be taking full advantage of the phase detection AF, opting to continue to rely instead on the Contrast-detect AF for very precise, but slower, focus acquisition. With the XF100-400mm, I noticed a definite hunting of the autofocus while shooting in the dim lights of the evening. So, while it may take longer to lock focus in low lighting conditions, it does so very precisely and its low noise/high ISO capability means that you can shoot great low light [non-action] pictures.
Continuous and Wide/Tracking AF are also improved, but still lag behind DSLRs in speed and ability to keep focused on the moving subject. Be forewarned: you will probably fall in love with the X-Pro2 when you test drive one, but if shooting sports and action is what you do, the X-Pro2 might not be the preferred camera. It’s not that you can’t get great sports and action shots, but you’ll have to work harder for them.
You can set the ISO on the Fujifilm X-Pro2 from 200 to 12800, plus the ability to have extended output sensitivity equivalent ISO 100 (L) and 51200 (H). Note that with the introduction of the mechanical ISO dial, there is no way to select ISO via menu. However, you now have 3 AUTO ISO settings that you can set to your liking, allowing you to customize the Default Sensitivity, Max. Sensivity and Min. Shutter Speed. For Default Sensitivity, you can choose from ISO 200 to 12800. For Max. Sensivity, you can choose from ISO 400 to 12800. For Min. Shutter Speed, you can choose from 1/4 s to 1/500 s. What has been added to the X-Pro2 (but is missing in the X-Pro1) is the ability to specify when (i.e. at which min. shutter speed) the camera should start using a higher ISO.
The 100% crops above demonstrate that noise at ISO 200 is under control with excellent detail preserved. Noise starts to be visible at ISO 3200 but is still very usable up to ISO 6400. The noise, though, is more acceptable film grain-like than unacceptable digital noise, and so might even be a welcomed characteristic for shooting some beautiful low light scenes. At higher ISOs, the presence of digital noise is visible at full image size and with visible loss of detail.
Though a comparison with the ISO performance of the X-Pro1 might seem to indicate there has not been much progress in its low light capability, remember though that the resolution of the sensor has increased from 16.3-MP in the X-Pro1 to 24.3-MP in the X-Pro2. So more detail in the images with no loss in ISO performance. Not bad at all for what is already considered to be class-leading low noise/high ISO capability in any camera, mirrorless and DSLRs.
CA (Purple Fringing)
CA (Purple Fringing) does not seem to be much of a problem using the XF100-400mm lens. In the above high contrast shot, there is no purple fringing.
Long ExposureOur Long Exposure test is a torture test for digital cameras. Here we test whether (and how well) a camera can lock focus, provide accurate WB and obtain a correct exposure in extreme low light situations. The Fujifilm X-Pro2 passes this test very well.
The Fujifilm X-Pro2 allows the use of a long shutter speed of 30 sec. in ASM modes. This allows us to take some nice Night Shots. For this shot, I leave the Aperture Ring on the XF35mmF1.4 lens to “A”, rotate the Shutter Speed dial to 30 sec. (i.e., I am now effectively in Shutter-Priority Mode), rotate the ISO dial to 200 and let the camera select the appropriate aperture (F1.4) for correct exposure.
Overall, the Fujifilm X-Pro2 has superb image quality (with low noise and excellent sharpness) that rivals and even bests some enthusiast DSLRs. And it does so in a significantly improved body design. That’s great news if you love the retro rangefinder design because it means you get to not only produce great images but also enjoy the taking of these images — with a camera that stands out design-wise from the crowd.